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At what age is it safe to leave the child unattended in the bathtub?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
My DH is in charge of bathing DS each night.
More and more I notice him leaving the baby in the bathtub to go run quick errands in other parts of the house.
I don't think it's safe, but he obviously does.
Is there any guideline about what age it's safe to leave a child unattended in the bathtub??
post #2 of 42
When my older dd was about 3, we stopped being in the bathroom with her. Now that she is almost 5, we still linger nearby and talk to her occasionally to make sure she is ok. I am 41 and I like my dh to check on me occasionally, too.
post #3 of 42
i think it depends on the child like most things. my dd1 is 3 just over 3 and i am comfortable leaving her alone in the bath as long as i am on the same floor. i make sure we keep talking or i can hear her singing, talking, playing, etc.....
post #4 of 42
I don't remember exactly when we started leaving dd for short periods in the bath, but I think it was around her third birthday.

How old is your toddler? If you think it's unsafe, then I think it's a good idea to talk to your dh seriously about it. Babies and kids can drown really quickly and really quietly.
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by riversong View Post
I don't remember exactly when we started leaving dd for short periods in the bath, but I think it was around her third birthday.

How old is your toddler? If you think it's unsafe, then I think it's a good idea to talk to your dh seriously about it. Babies and kids can drown really quickly and really quietly.
Oh that last sentence is heartbreaking.

The baby is 19 months.
post #6 of 42
My 6 year old slipped in the bathtub while I was in the next room, and fell hard enough to break a tooth. He tried to get up on his knees to wash his butt. I didn't hear him fall or hit, although I did hear him start crying. If he had hit his head instead of his mouth and lost consciousness I wouldn't have heard a sound. I'm very grateful he was OK.

I'd say 6 or 7 at the very youngest. In my opinion leaving a child under 3 or 4is incredibly dangerous.
post #7 of 42
I know. It is heartbreaking. I remember hearing that when kids drown people don't hear a splash like they think they would. I also remember dd's swim instructor saying that a one-year-old can hold his/her breath under water for about 4 seconds.

I think 19 months is too young. I wish I had a link to something for your dh to read. You might be able to find something if you search around.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxine45 View Post
Oh that last sentence is heartbreaking.

The baby is 19 months.
Whatever you have to do to get DH to take that seriously, do it. Have him read this thread. Google for stories of toddlers drowning in inches of water. Whatever it takes.

I do pop out of the bathroom to grab a towel or that sort of thing, but I my 2 year old is never alone in the bath for more than, oh ,say, 15 seconds.
post #9 of 42
Never ever leave any child alone in the bath tub, if they are young enought to take a bath, then they should not be left alone. Adults even can get hurt when no one is around. Much too dangerous. Ds does not take baths (only showers with me) , but when I was a nanny I never left a child alone in a bath tub and I even stayed in the bathroom when the showered if they were under 8.

If time is an issue than shortenthe bath time rather than leave your dc unattended.
post #10 of 42
DD will be 4 in March...I won't even leave her to get a towel out of the linen closet 2 feet out the bathroom door.

There was a mama here a few months back who almost lost her 2 year old when she went to grab the phone...it can happen in a second.
post #11 of 42
I'd say around 3.
My 2 year old slipped and smacked her chin on the edge a couple of weeks ago, and I was RIGHT THERE, in the tub with her. Things happen so fast.
I think 19 months is way, way, WAY too young, even for a second.
post #12 of 42
Our three oldest bathe together, so the youngest in the tub is 25 months (and he sits in his booster seat because he hates the feeling of the bathtub). I wouldn't even turn my back on them personally, let alone actually leave the room.
Our eldest is very responsible, nurturing and reasonably cautious with his brothers, but I still wouldn't leave them. I have forgotten towels before, and I just apologise when they're done and have to stand freezing on the bathmat while I go get them (I let the water out before they're actually out, and by the time they're all on the mat, it's gone- sometimes I spray them down before they get out too). Anyway, they mostly have had showers more regularly for messes than actual baths (and the baths ended when we had tailings come out of our faucet... )

I would NEVER leave a 19 month old. I actually felt a bit of that sick feeling I get when I am about to cry about something really terrible happening to a child when I read that . Sorry. Please talk to your dh.

By the way, over about 3 yrs, I don't think that the age matters as much as what you know about your child and the set-up of your bathroom, and whatever other factors you would consider. Some children are very cautious and compliant and wouldn't do anything that wasn't explicitly allowed and so leaving for a minute wouldn't necessarily be dangerous for them; I suspect those are few and far between, or I just haven't met many (perhaps they run when they see our brood comin' ).

I wouldn't leave someone else's child at that age; sometimes that's the measure I use when I can't decide if something is safe or not for our dc- it helps me to gain perspective and to remember that people are dynamic and sometimes (heehee) behave in unpredictable ways.
post #13 of 42
Really young kid: likely to slip and have head under the water.
Slightly older kid: likely to mess with the hot water tap and scald themselves even with the water heater turned down.

Leave them alone in the bathtub when they say "sheesh mom, a little privacy!"

post #14 of 42
My dd is 20 1/2 months and we are always within arms reach and we help her in and out of the tub. She is sooooo likely to do something silly like try to stand up and jump around, turn on the hot water, lie face down and get confused and inhale. If you can't get your dh to take you seriously, take this job over if you have to mama.
post #15 of 42
I don't know what the right age is, but 19 months strikes me as WAY too young. It only takes a couple of seconds...
post #16 of 42
I think it depends on the kid, but no way I would do it at 19 months. I have two two-year olds, who are 11 months apart in age. I feel comfortable leaving them in the tub for a 15 second run *to the room right next* to the bathroom to grab a towel or whatever, but only if I can hear them the ENTIRE time. If EVEN FOR A SECOND they stop making noise (which my kids rarely do...we call ourselves "the loud family"), I freak out and run back in. With my ds, who is almost three, I do let it stretch sometimes to a 20-30 second trip-- even when he was a couple months younger I did-- but again, I stay on the same level and I listen intently and if he is quiet even for a second I run back to get him. With my dfd, I don't think I'd be comfortable with 20-30 seconds even when she is ds' age. With her, 5-10 seconds is really the max. She's just a different kid...far less spatial awarenesss, much more clumsy, far less cautious, and with a tendency to do things I've told her not to.

I have "trained" my ds, and am trying to "train" my dfd, that when I call out their names and say, "say 'here I am'" they reply with "Here I am mama" and if I call out, "are you okay?" they reply "okay." We had to do this because my ds has special needs that can cause us to lose him in an instant. It seems that this has good applicability as I am making that mad dash back to the bathroom when I haven't heard him for ONE second.
post #17 of 42
Definitely depends on age. DS is 2 next week and he talks non-stop in the bathtub, singing, yelling and telling us about his toys. We have left him for up to 15 seconds or so, but can hear him talking the whole time AND the bathtub is right off the rest of the main part of the house so we can see him from the dining room and the kitchen and the living room. He has no, no, no ambition to get up out of the tub ever and we have to practically drag him out so the problem of him trying to stand up is not something we have encountered.

Jen D.
post #18 of 42
when I was a nanny I would run fast like the wind to grab something with children over 4 but I would have them sing at the top of their lungs while they were out of sight... I don't think that I will leave my dd til 6 at least. Even if I don't want to "relate"per se I will bring a book or mag and sit in the doorway so they can feel alone but not be alone.... ykwim? I agree with the other pp... drownings can happen in a split second (I have watched my dd just slip right under) and I think your dc (like mine) is way to young unless you really can do it under 5 seconds! I also like my dd to have some water in there and not just a covering of the bath tub....
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Really young kid: likely to slip and have head under the water.
Slightly older kid: likely to mess with the hot water tap and scald themselves even with the water heater turned down.

Leave them alone in the bathtub when they say "sheesh mom, a little privacy!"

LoL . . . I agree . . . even then keep an ear out.
post #20 of 42
I agree 19 months is too young to leave alone.
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